Cape Town - The South Africa under-19s drew first blood when they beat Sri Lanka by 16 runs in the first of three Youth ODIs in Colombo on Saturday.
Mitchell van Buuren, on debut, took four wickets and scored 29 runs to help lead his side to victory.
The visitors posted 185 in 49.3 overs after winning the toss and opting to bat first. Ricardo Vasconcelos and Jesse Christensen shared a 39-run opening stand before the loss of the latter for 18 in the 8th over. Vasconcelos (33) went on to build the stand-out partnership of the innings with Raynard van Tonder (37), adding 52 runs between them for the second wicket, to keep the scoreboard ticking.
The batsmen stumbled a little after the loss of Vasconcelos in the 21st over, going from 91/2 to 110/5 in 28.4 overs. Wandile Makwetu (11) and Mitchell van Buuren steadied the ship somewhat with their 21-run, sixth-wicket stand, but it was the 43-run partnership between Van Buuren and Eathan Bosch for the seventh wicket that paved the way for the visitors to post a respectable score in the end.
Sri Lanka’s Praveen Jayawickrama and Damitha Silva were the pick of the bowlers, taking four wickets each.
The hosts’ batting reply was missing one big partnership to take them to victory. They struggled to contend with Van Burren, who knocked the middle order over, returning an impressive 4/38 at the end of his spell. Vishad Randika de Silva was the leading run scorer with 34 off 49 deliveries, but no one else was able to keep their wicket long enough to share a lasting partnership. A slew of single figures by the tail and only 28 from opening batsman Vishva Chathuranga saw the home side bowled out for 169 in 43 overs.
William Sendin and SA captain, Wiaan Mulder provided good back up for Van Buuren, returning figures of 2/22 and 2/32 respectively.
The second ODI will take place at the same venue on Monday, 11 July.